Tenant Update #5

12 May 2020

Chief Executive’s Letter to Tenants of Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust

On behalf of everyone here at OCHT, we want to touch base about changes to COVID-19 alert levels.  Please take time to read this letter and follow the recommendations.

COVID-19 Alert Level 3 (Restrict – until 11.59pm, 13 May 2020)
The Government has extended the Alert Level 3 Lockdown until 11.59 on 13 May. Stay at home if we can and please stay 2 metres apart from people not in your bubble.

COVID-19 Alert Level 2 (Reduce – 14 May 2020)
The Government will move New Zealand to Alert Level 2 in stages from 14 May.  The disease is contained, but the risk of community transmission remains. There is a staged move to Level 2:

  • Thursday 14 May malls, shops, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, playgrounds and public toilets open.
  • Friday 15 May The Art Gallery, Turanga and large community libraries open
  • Monday 18 May schools, universities, early learning centres and small community libraries open.
  • Thursday 21 May, bars reopen
  • Groups and social gatherings cannot be larger than 10 people. Other updates below:

Physical Distancing
You no longer need to stick to your bubble. Now, keep your distance and maintain physical distancing of 2 metres when outside.  You can have friends and family over to your home but the gathering can have no more than 10 people. Keep surfaces clean, wash your hands, keep the numbers low.

Personal Movement
Follow good hygiene practices, consider others around you and maintain 1 metre physical distance at cafes, restaurants and retail stores. Take care if you interact with people you don’t know as it won’t be easy to do contact tracing. E.g. playgrounds, parks, shopping malls.

You can travel around the country but make sure you do it safely. You will need to keep records of what travel services you use and keep track of all contacts. You should keep your distance from groups of people you don’t know and minimise the number of stops.  Here are some other tips:

  • Limit public transport use or travel off-peak. Avoid sitting by someone you don’t know.
  • If you’re taking transport that involve bookings, follow the physical distancing instructions.
  • You must not travel if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or awaiting a test.

Businesses and Venues
Museums, libraries, food courts, shops, markets, restaurants, cafes and other businesses can open. There will be restrictions such as keeping groups 1 metre apart. Groups are no larger than 10 people.

Sport and Recreation
You can do your usual exercise, sport and recreation activities, provided you can do them safely.

General Health Advice
Health services will operate as normally as possible.  Refer to OCHT’s first letter that included hints to stay well; regularly disinfect surfaces; wash and dry hands, cough into elbow, don’t touch your face. If you have cold or flu symptoms stay at home and ring Healthline or your GP.

You can call the COVID-19 Healthline number with any COVID-19 health-related concerns on 0800 358 5453. Contact your GP or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for any other health concerns.

OCHT Services in Alert Level 2
The OCHT office opens on 18 May from 8.30 – 5.00 pm. The call centre operates 24/7. If you have an appointment with OCHT or our contractors are coming to your home, we will ask you some health questions. This is for your safety as well as the safety of our employees and contractors. We will ask visitors to the office sign a contact tracing form. Please do not come to the office if you are unwell. Thank you.

OCHT Maintenance
Ordinary maintenance continues. Thanks for calling in your jobs and please keep ringing them in. You will see contractors around your complex but stay 2 metres away or go into another room in your home until they are finished. This is for your protection as well as theirs.

OCHT Lawns and Common Garden Areas
Outdoor work around complexes continues as usual. Please stay 2 metres away at all times.

OCHT Heatpump Installations
Full steam ahead!  697 homes have heatpumps and we’re on track to complete installations in the 909 priority homes by winter. We will call our tenants 5 days before your heatpump installation is scheduled and ask your permission to enter your home for three hours to install your heat pump.  This allows us to speed up installations. Once the 909 priority homes have heatpumps, our team will come back and complete installations complex by complex. We will send a letter next week advising more on the heat pump programme.

OCHT Housing People
It is safe to have people move into their new home because COVID-19 is contained & New Zealand has contact tracing and testing in place. Please welcome your new neighbours when you see them around your complex.

OCHT Community Activities
BBQs and other community activities are paused. This is for your safety.  Many OCHT tenants may have health conditions or be elderly and they may be at risk if we gather people together. We will continue to make calls to people who live alone or have few supports. Please let us know if you would like us to call you weekly.

Community Lounges
Lounges will remain closed for now but this will be reviewed in two weeks.

Inspections will restart. Please stay 2 metres away from your tenancy manager at all times.

Wishing you all the best from the OCHT Team and remember, we are happy to answer your questions and you can call us on 0800 624 456. Thank you and take care.

Kind regards

Cate Kearney
Chief Executive


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Further reading

The Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust
61 Kilmore St,

Hours: 8.30 am-5.00 pm, Monday-Friday.

Postal: PO Box 53, Christchurch 8140

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